Gary Tautfest flies over the Dijon-Prenois track for his second victory in the Historics GT's series
Special report by Patrice Cote
With only a one week rest, the CMS bandwagon headed out to France to race the Dijon-Preois track. Surely eager to come back strong this week, Gary Tautfest leads from start to finish for his second win of the season.
Ah Dijon! Such a nice track, technical and fast. But a double personality too, after that looooog straightaway, drivers have to face non-stop twisty corner combos ondulating along the terrain. But to me, it will forever be the home of the boldest battle ever witnessed in Formula One. I'm of course refering to the Gilles Villeneuve and René Arnoux epic laps in 1979.
Robert Beck casted some doubts in the mind of Jaguar E-type drivers with his impressive races last week at Goodwood. But fear not, Gary does it again and pushes back the limit of the possible during his qualification run. Being a Jag driver myself, his 1:33.650 pole time just blew my mind. This is at least a full second faster than anything I expected, even from him.
There were very fast times too from the muscle cars of Robert (1:34.874) and Wayne Fitzgerald (1:34.927).
After a clean start, Gary jumped into the lead and started to build a gap in front. Big V8's were after him, Robert, Wayne and Todd Alan, all trying to keep up the pace. But some of those mean machines are suffering badly from tyre wear and overheating in the twisty corners. Halfway, Robert and Jim have to pit for new set of rubber.
Robert and Wayne in pursuit mode
Meanwhile, Todd Adair with his fast Jag, moved up the field after starting last to end in second place. Lots of close battles were seen during most of the race with two or even three wide going in that dipping left-hander before the hairpin.
Phil Elmore on hard tyres with the Cobra Coupe got a nice payoff for his patient lapping by making it to 3rd place, passing Wayne with just 3 laps to go.
Going in three Wide!
David Anderson (as Goliath) and Mike Greatrix (as David). David won! (I'm not telling which one)
Phil Elmore in a rare, but spectacular, slide
Congratulation to Gary and all finishers. Don't miss the 2h enduro at Rouen that will end the first half of the season, it will be a though one!
See you on the track!
PS: Next time I'll try not to get lost in my Gilles Villeneuve memories and be there on time!